As for the rescuee, gratitude is for favors that you don't expect, or that weren't matters of course. To express thanks in an instance where there really shouldn't be any feelings of debt says a lot about how you feel about that relationship, and probably even more about how you feel about you. :( <3
# I've never been able to figure out why the YED was cursed with such fantastically complicated plans for world domination. Raising and harvesting multiple generations of psychic children? To an uncertain and time and capital intensive end? Waiting years and years and then six extra months, putting people on the ceiling, lighting cribs on fire... It's all just very complicated! Not that any of Heaven's plans have been uncomplicated, but at least you can make the argument that Heaven is romantic about ~narrative. And killing off Jess, when Ava got to keep her fiance for years more? Fiance didn't even have to burn on the ceiling, man!
# I'm curious also as to why Azazel released John in 1x22, once Sam decides not to shoot him. He lets the whole family escape for the time being, or so it would seem--to what end? My initial thought, before I actually got to this scene was that lol, maybe there's a moment where Azazel isn't sure that Sam won't shoot. He and Meg have misread the chivalry of this family enough already. XD Surely he must know Sam won't drop out of the game until he kills the demon, whether his family survives or not.
But actually watching the scene, nah. I think maybe he realizes that something in Sam's changed. Maybe Azazel was unwilling to risk Sam's ability to walk away from mutually assured destruction. Because the moment Sam chooses his father over vengeance, maybe the demon realizes that that balance has shifted. That balance has shifted, and Azazel realized that there's a chance that if he kills John now (and it's always been my impression that Dean would have died whether the Impala had been totaled or not; he's as good as dead right then), Sam might just walk away from all this bullshit, and cede his go at ~victory. Because "nothing says the family business like the whole family being dead" (8x01).
Whether Dean recognizes this later or not (and he doesn't), he's the one who taught Sam that.
# Also noting for posterity that yes, Dean doesn't care what Dad wants if what Dad wants possibly involves Dad dying. It's easy enough to draw a line from 1x22 to 8x23/9x01 but I feel like you can probably do more with that. Just putting those sentiments in parallel without putting any attention to the eight years in between just seems so facile!!
# I have way too much material to work with re: S1 throughlines to S8/9. :D